Modern life exposes us to a lot of noise pollution. From traffic, to noisy neighbours, to the background hum of a busy city or town, it's always present in our lives.
Too much noise can prevent you from sleeping, increase stress, or lead to serious health problems. We've found a few ways to cut down on the racket while you're trying to sleep and create a peaceful, calm environment.
1. Stop Noise at the Door (and Window)
The most effective noise control is to prevent it from getting into your bedroom in the first place. For most people, the main culprit is their bedroom window.
Closing your bedroom door tight, getting a rug and putting on a white noise soundtrack will definitely help mask or dampen the amount of noise in your bedroom. However, if your window is too thin or has gaps and cracks, street noise will still fill your room at night.
Getting your windows double-glazed is the most efficient way of blocking noise. Upgrading your window frame the same time and making sure it's properly sealed will dramatically reduce the amount of noise in your room.
Double-glazed windows create a pocket of air between panes of glass, creating an acoustic buffer. Laminated glass can further reduce noise levels, absorbing and reflecting incoming sounds. Depending on the thickness of the glass layers, the width of the gap between them and the material in your frame, most or all of street noise can be eliminated.
2. Learn to Love White Noise
White noise is any continuous, soothing noise that drowns out irregular and irritating sounds. The human brain is wired to tune out monotonous, low grade noise, while sudden loud sounds attract our attention.
White noise machines are available very cheaply with a range of sound options, or you can download a variety of apps for your smartphone. These are a good option if you can't stand sleeping with ear plugs.
Another option is to include a small water feature in your bedroom. The soft trickling has the same effect as a white noise machine, and can be featured on a bedside table or dresser.
3. Upgrade Your Soft Furnishings
Curtains, drapes and blinds can all play a role in cutting down on noise in your bedroom. Look for heavy fabrics like velvet for the best effect, or you can pay a little more for special sound dampening curtains with a mass-loaded vinyl layer.
Rugs, thick carpets and cork flooring are all good for dampening sound. They won't prevent noise from getting in, but they prevent sound from reflecting off hard surfaces and reduce noise pollution.
Acoustic panels made of sound absorbing material and wrapped in fabric, can be used line your walls. They can be cheaply hung and incorporated into your décor, or printed with art and used as a feature.
Following all or some of these steps will help create the quiet, peaceful bedroom you deserve!